I’m not a very good writer, but i try when i feel the conviction to. I’ll start this entry with something that was posted to me this morning about supporting skl0.
“We disagree with the few online groups lobbying to free the sticker girl. They probably forgot that she had was alleged to have spray painted the roads with “MY GRANDFATHER ROAD” too… Permanent damage has been done to public infrastructure which needs a remedy (painting over). This is a straightforward and non-negotiable hard truth…
Yes, we appreciate her art… But an artist is prepared to pay a price to promote a cause. Please do not be ignorant and support bending the laws. It is a fact that public property has been vandalised. She is now caught, and if she is found guilty, she should face the music.
Lets use some reasoning here… Do not blindly promote a wrong cause just because the artwork is nice and the message is valid. The act is wrong.
Trying to justify her actions in the name of creativity and art only puts our ethics and value system in question.”
- A note sent to me.
I had not qualms with the above opinion until, the word - “blindly”. Its not a very nice thing to assume that the community that supports her doesn’t know what they’re exactly doing or up against. Not a can of worms you’d want to open.
#1) We live in a legalistic society, no one is above the law.
#2) I believe in respecting the law.
#3) Graffiti is an art form to me. Like all forms of art, there are bodies of work i don’t appreciate and there are bodies of work that i do adore.
#4) Graffiti art or street art is not a genre of visual arts. It is a PRACTICE.
#5) The word “Graffiti” is from the italian word graffito, which means scratched. If my memory serves me right, i remember reading in my ceramics days that it was also a term of a technique where one scratches off a surface to reveal the surface underneath it. Based on this word concept, the very purpose of this art form is to function as a visual exposé of society from the point of view of the artist. I don’t believe rebellion was ever a mandatory element of graffiti art, but it has somehow found its way ingrained as part of its culture due to how effective the medium works to address social/political themes.
#6) With that said, graffiti artists are aware of what is at stake & how at risk they are for the sake of their art and message(s).
#7) And anyone (who isn’t the artist or granted consent from the artist) imitates the work would be probably considered as an act of pure vandalism cause the concept/message is not “valid” anymore. As flattering it maybe - you’re probably doing the artist a huge disservice.
#8) i absolutely love skl0’s work. i feel tickled every time i see one of those stickers at the traffic junctions. and yes, it was absolutely necessary from an artistic stand point to paste those stickers and spray paint on a public/common space for the art to “work”. Its art like this that makes me feel very proud to be Singaporean. Isn’t it nice that as Singaporeans we all collectively get this awesome inside joke? On top of that its like such a great caricature of us.
#9) If this was a game, we’re playing by the law’s rules. The chess pieces have moved in for the kill and the game is already set up. If she is convicted, the arts community would find itself crowning a martyr. If not convicted, it gives power to the community/people to veto the law. So, will the law flinch?
#10) With that in mind, i still wholehearted believe in freeing skl0 and like the many peers around me, i would like to help as much as i can to get her out of the unpleasant situation she’s in. Simply because i love her art and i think she shouldn’t stop producing it. May it be posting bail or paying the fine - i have no doubt that loads of people in the arts community will dive head first to help.
#11) I believe art has the power to impact others and evidently hers has impacted others enough who would want to fight to protect her & what she stands for. So no reason to rain on anyone’s parade that wants to do so.
#12) Today, i went to print out a whole bunch of her stickers. Which is easily available on her website, http://skl0.tumblr.com. I’ve decided to do so, not to encourage anyone to paint the town red with it. But rather, because i’m such a huge fan and wanted to give away these stickers to my friends and anyone i know who wanted one. Every sticker i gave away today, was like giving away an opportunity for people to start conversations or have interesting discourse about this whole matter to other people. Every sticker i gave away, was like sharing a joke i really enjoyed with someones that gets it.
Its incidents like these that make the arts community come together, its incidents like these that remind me how powerful art is and will be in the future.
so thank you skl0. thank you for being so brave & just so damn cool.
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